A Place To Begin Practice

I stood on my mat, and I felt a wave of emotions resurface. My instinct, as I’ve been conditioned, was to view my pain as negative, my struggles as unwanted, my weaknesses as undesirable. Yet, “what are your weaknesses?” is almost a guaranteed question in an interview for any level job to which we offer a neat, sugarcoated answer. Because, like the daily diatribe of “how are you” followed by “good,” we know that a sincere answer isn’t the expected or right answer.

We live in a world which asks us to both hide and address our faults, in a world where true vulnerability is hard to come by. But, what if we choose to reformulate this language, and instead reclaim our weaknesses, our pain and our vulnerability as strength and power?

As I transitioned into Warrior I, I began to reminisce about the girl I once was -- the mistakes and misjudgements, the friends I’ve lost, the apologies that never came. I found myself in a very vulnerable place and felt my eyes grow hot with tears.

I wanted to hush these feelings. Instead, I reflected and found peace. This pain, too, was a part of me and my experience being human.

Meditation isn’t just about silence in the mind, it is also about healing. Healing isn’t just about forgetting and trudging forward, but also finding a way to live with and grow from our experience. Slow the mind, allow your brain to sort and process those thoughts which would normally be brushed under the surface. Let yourself be vulnerable on your mat; it will be there to cradle you.

I stretched my arms further in Warrior and felt strength in the sinew of my muscles, a lightness of being. I allowed my thoughts to linger, and allowed them to pass. I smiled, as a new song came on and we transitioned into a new posture. Life is fleeting, full of changes, but it is always a journey. I was no longer the girl who felt that pain, who bore those weaknesses, but I am the woman who came out of them with fortitude. For that I am thankful.


Rachel Musser